Police Director Joseph Santiago’s fate could be sealed as early as Tuesday, when City Council could officially initiate action meant to force him to follow the law, and move to Trenton, or be removed from his position as supreme arbiter in the Trenton Police Department.
Council need only pass some sort of resolution demanding Mr. Santiago make a commitment to move into the state capital. With any refusal to do so, all the body would need to do is initiate a hearing examining the situation, and have a discussion with the director about his clear and unabashed breaking of the city code.
At the conclusion of that hearing – contrary to the lies spewed from the mouth of Speial Counsel Joseph A. Alacqua – the body would have the ability to remove the director from his position using his non-compliance with the law as cause, by way of a five-member vote affirming the action.
“My hope is that council as a body, that all of us will agree that this ordinance needs to be abided by the director and send him a resolution reminding him of that,” said Councilman Jim Coston in a statement in the Trentonian today.
Councilman Coston did say that it was understood by the body that compliance with the ordinance could take some time, and that if Mr. Santiago was in agreement then the council would not set stringent dates for the director’s compliance with the ordinance, as required by all department directors.
Besides Mr. Santiago, some other directors stand to be harmed by any significant residency ruling, most notably Business Administrator Jane Feigenbaum, who makes no secret of the secondary status of her Mill Hill home.
Residents living in the neighborhood said Friday that Ms. Feigenbaum is rarely at her home more than twice a week, preferring to live in the upper reaches of the state, near her old position with the Jersey City administration.
New Communications Director Irving Bradley better watch out as well, because statements alleging deposits put down for a unit in the Broad Street Bank building will surely be investigated by the same residents pushing the action against Mr. Santiago currently.
Also noteworthy in the continued residency flap is the constant spin used by Mayor Douglas H. Palmer and his cronies, who continually say that the flap is fueled by a handful of disgruntled citizens and angry police union members.
As sources said earlier this week, this is not the case, with the entire ordeal spurned by several groups of residents who have wished to initiate the action over the last several years, after taking note of law-breaking by the highest individual in law enforcement in their city.
Police unions may be smiling, but they had no hand in anything going on currently, which was the fruit of communications and some small citizens’ meetings.
This has nothing to do with police beef with a civilian director. The issue here, is simply, the LAW.